Lean Best Practices: Using Motivational Metrics

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 : 1 Comment

Because of our firm belief in the Lean implementation process, we have put together a list of our Top 10 tips for Best Practices for Lean manufacturing. Over the next couple of weeks, we will continue to explore each of these tips in an effort to help those who may be struggling on their Lean journey!


Tip #1: Provide motivational metrics.

Recently, I was reading a blog post by Frank Geric at the Agility Business Solutions, Inc. The post caught my attention because it used the famous phrase from the Dos Equis commercials “Stay Thirsty My Friends”. I read the post and agreed with many of the points, especially the section entitled “Keep Moving the Goal Line”. In this section, Geric explains how one of their clients became complacent with the goals and metrics set forth for improvement and just went back to their old ways after the success was achieved. This revealed an interesting lesson that many companies should understand, whether in Manufacturing or not.

Metrics play a huge role in the Lean process. If the activity isn’t measured, it doesn’t count. Imagine, producing hundreds of units of a product and being proud of your workers, when in reality, you were supposed to produce thousands, but you just didn’t have the proper metrics in place to work towards. When establishing metrics for success, a company should always look forward. When the original success is achieved, is there a plan in place, in case demand continues to grow for that particular product? The motivational metrics should be established so that the company can support increased demand.

The holidays are a great time to focus on motivational metrics. There is an increase in consumer demand for numerous products from retail to the food industry. This increased demand sets up a prime time to test an organization’s motivational metrics.

Does your organization utilize motivational metrics? What have been your results? Let’s discuss!

One Response to Lean Best Practices: Using Motivational Metrics

  1. Kalen Fitch says:

    We use improvement metrics to monitor all of our LEAN activities. For example 5S audit scores and throughput numbers. We hold corrective action meetings whenever our teams fail to meet their goals which are usually very productive (3l5Y, Fishbones, 8D, etc). One important aspect that we have found though is to make sure you reward the teams for achieving their metrics and try not to slap anyone’s hand when there is a miss. Positive motivation has always been more productive for us than negative. It is our experience that for most of our team, when a goal is presented, they actively work to achieve that goal, raising the productivity of our entire organization.

    Kalen Fitch
    Engineering Manager
    PC Systems, Inc.

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